Trump and Putin Find Common Language for a Pragmatic Dialogue

It looks like Trump’s campaign statement that he will get along with Putin is true, Richard Sakwa said in an interview with valdaiclub.com Richard Sakwa is Professor of Russian and European Politics, University of Kent, Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House.

The first meeting between the Russian and American presidents was held on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg on July 7. Lasting for more than two hours, it focused on the situation in Ukraine and Syria, the fight against terrorism, and cybersecurity.

According to Mr. Sakwa, the Russian and US presidents managed to eschew ideology that was characteristic of Putin-Obama meetings, which could bode well for important and productive cooperation.

First Putin-Trump Meeting: The Exploration of a Compartmentalised Relationship James Sherr
After very anticipated first Russian and US presidents' meeting, James Sherr, Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) told valdaiclub.com that both sides used this opportunity to underline the importance of Moscow-Washington relationship and direct contacts between two presidents, in particular.

It should be mentioned that both leaders are very pragmatic people and the tenor of their talks was also filled with pragmatism, he said.

Mr. Sakwa admitted that nobody had expected much from their meeting. Before the meeting, Trump visited Warsaw, where he made a number of specific statements that were quite in the spirit of traditional US foreign policy.

Everyone thought that the meeting would take no more than half an hour or an hour at the most, but they talked for much longer. The atmosphere between the leaders before the talks was positive, he said in conclusion.     

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